Sorry for the lack of posts this week, my offline life interfered.

This weeks inspiration is an amazing idea for photographing earrings: using real plants.

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This is such a cute tray, the rings just look yummy in it.

Ceramic Rings, originally uploaded by Winchell ClayWorks.

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I frequently see sellers on Etsy and other venues complaining about a lack of sales or a dip in their sales. Slow times happen due to just bad luck, the economy, as part of seasonal shopping patterns, or because the seller has become complacent. How you deal with this can have a big impact on your business. Here's a list of a few dos and don'ts for when business is slow:

DO step up your promotion efforts. There are plenty of ways to promote for free or cheap when you don't have the space cash for advertising in the form of blogging, twitter, other social networking sites, squidoo, directories, participating in a giveaway or contest, etc.

DON'T sit constantly refreshing your stats or obsessing about them. Stats are useful but checking them constantly is not productive. No more than once a day.

DO work on new ideas. A new product line or variation can perk things up if people get excited about them. Besides when things do get busy you aren't going to have as much time to work on these things. The last time you want to be working on a new product type is the middle of the holiday shopping season.

DON'T look for a scapegoat. By this I mean don't look for something outside your control to blame your lack of sales on. It may exist, the economy isn't too hot right now, but you can't change some things. Focus on the factors you can control.

DO some homework. Take some time to take a class, read a book, etc. on running a small business. Your local small business association is a good reasource for this.

DON'T be afraid to ask for help. Many sellers are willing to give you some help, Etsy has a whole team full of them

A few months ago I did a review of Etsy Hacks and since then they've released a lot of improvements and new scripts. To use Etsy Hacks you need to install the Greasemonkey addon for the Firefox web browser and then install the scripts. Some new or improved scripts that I love are:
  • Buyer Notes - This hack extracts the "message from the buyer" (if any) from each order and displays it on the Sold Orders page, underneath the order's section, so you're less likely to miss important requests from your customers. *I love this one, notes are very easy to miss in the email notification and on the receipt page*
  • Contact Buyer - Adds links to email and convo a buyer to the Sold Orders page
  • Order Convo Enhancer - When you start a convo from the receipt page (using the buyer info or contact buyer hacks), this hack adds "Etsy order #123456" to the subject, and a link to the receipt to the body of the message. *I convo each buyer so this is very useful.*
  • Bulk Image Uploader - This hack adds up to five image upload fields to your "create listing" and "edit listing" pages, so you can upload your listing images more quickly.
Make sure you head over to Etsy Hacks and see the full list of scripts, there are so many useful tools there.

I like the overall calm feel of this and the way the background goes so well with the colors of the vase. It's like it's all underwater.

vase turq4, originally uploaded by ClaycrazyPottery.

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This post is about something I'm not very good at: making a schedule. I've been doing okay with this blog but I did miss Monday's post this week is a good example of this.

I've decided on using Google Calendar for a couple reasons, one is that since it's web based I can access it from both of my computers. The other reason is that there is a firefox extension called Google Calendar Notifier that will pop up reminders of my events for me and since I've got firefox open most of the day this is a good idea.

So why the schedule?

Well if you are good at remembering to do things you may not need one but if you have a lot to do, a less than stellar memory, or are easily distractable (my problem) you need one. I've avoided doing a formal schedule for a while because I don't like them but as Noadi's Art has grown it's become clear to me that like it or not I need one.

What sort of things are going on my schedule?

Posting for the Handmade Business Blog has entries for the 3 posts I do each week, art shows, etc. Stuff like that is pretty obvious. A few less obvious things are scheduling a day for contacting blogs about featuring my work, times for Etsy Virtual Labs chats that I'd like to attend, goals that I want to achieve like maybe X number of sales.

Sorry this was a bit of a short post this week, I'm having a bit of writer's block lately. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment in the Suggestions thread.

I really like the combination of textures here with the book and dried plants.

Vintage, originally uploaded by DaliDesigns.

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Next week things will be back to normal with posting because I will be done with art shows for a bit. Since I don't have time to write a long post this week I pulled up a few great videos from YouTube.

This is something I did just on a whim this weekend at the art show. I draped a couple of my bracelets over large sea shells and it really looked amazing.


A day early this week so I can spend tomorrow packing up for my art show.

I like the softness of the photo with the cute packaging. The ribbons are such a great touch.

Sample Packaging, originally uploaded by Genevive_Too.

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Just a short post today, I'm preparing to do two art fairs in two weeks so I'm incredibly busy. Since I'm working on the show preparations I thought I'd share some ideas to make shows go smoother.
  • If you're selling jewelry or other wearables have a mirror handy, people want to see how something will look on them.
  • Prepare your packaging ahead of time. I've pre-filled paper bags with my brochure and a business card, the fabric gift bags I use all have a little bit of tulle stuffed inside, and I have pieces of bubblewrap cut to the sizes I use most. I can pack up a sale in just a few seconds.
  • Have a full cooler of stuff to eat and drink, especially lots of fluids so you don't get dehydrated on a hot day.
  • Do a test run setting up your display, take your time to work out the details so the day of the show you can set up quickly.
  • Take note of important locations for your own use and to give directions. Bathrooms of course, also the location of the organizers, food vendors, and the nearest ATM. Hopefully you won't need them but also find out where security and/or medical personnel are.
  • If the show is likely to have parents with children in tow, consider having some small items like bookmarks for $1 that kids can buy for themselves. You won't make much money off them but it's worth it for the smiles.